Christmas came a little early for Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week when he received an award from outgoing US basket-case Donald Trump. Morrison, the only person who actually would have liked to have received a lump of coal from Santa, was awarded something called “The Legion of Merit”.
The award is normally considered to be one of the US’s highest military honours, until you remember it’s being handed to you by the man who used to own the Miss Universe pageant.
The honour recognises Morrison for his “leadership in addressing global challenges” and for “strengthening the United States and Australia partnership”. Indeed, when Australia was facing one of its biggest challenges this time last year, Morrison did show great leadership, racing to one of America’s more tropical states to further strengthen that partnership.
The award was presented to Australian ambassador Arthur Sinodinos by national security adviser Robert O’Brien, since Trump just couldn’t find a moment to spare in between his busy schedule of pardoning war criminals and undermining his own country’s democracy.
The medal itself is quite an impressive-looking decoration, though it lacks the gravitas and elegance of the Prime Minister’s previous trophy, a boat-shaped sheet of metal emblazoned with “I Stopped These”.
It’s the highest honour Trump has bestowed on Morrison since he lauded the PM as a “man of titanium”, but the Legion of Merit no doubt carries some extra weight for Morrison because, as proven by his approach to female representation in the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister is a great champion of merit. You can guarantee he wouldn’t be caught dead accepting something called the Legion of Quota.
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